Osso Bucco in A Rich Tomato Red Wine Sauce & Creamy Parmesan Polenta

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Being pregnant, I cook according to what I crave these days, or some might like to say, according to what the baby wants! hehe To be honest, most of the things I cook are food I miss from home, but currently, my daily cravings are anything tomatoey and cheesy! Mmmmm (: How can that go wrong?

Taylors Estate Pinot Noir

It is the time of the month again when I’m so lucky to receive a couple of bottles of Taylors Wines! I know, I know. Please do not worry, I’m not drinking! I also make sure that I cook it long enough to get all the alcohol content out of the dish, leaving just the intense flavour of the wine. hehe So you can take a deep breath! hehe I decided to ask for Taylors Estate 2012 Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir. This medium bodied wine has flavours of ripe cherry and the freshness of berries. It’s soft on your palate and has tones of subtle spiciness. I knew immediately what it would be great for – Osso Bucco!

Tomato and red wine cooked osso bucco with creamy parmesan polenta

This was one perfect dish for satisfying my pregnancy cravings! Melt-in-the-mouth beef pieces cooked in a thick, luscious tomato and red wine sauce and served on a creamy parmesan polenta! I’m not a huge fan of marrow, but the mr is, so it was also a winner with him! hehe

So here’s the recipe, hope you will enjoy it as much as I did! (:

Osso Bucco in a Rich Tomato & Red Wine Sauce with Creamy Parmesan Polenta (serves 6-8)

For Osso Bucco :

8 pieces of osso bucco

salt & pepper, to season and to taste

hot paprika, to season

plain flour, to season

4 tbs olive oil

2 red onions, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 stalks of celery, finely sliced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 large chilles, deseeded and thinly sliced

2 anchovy fillets

1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)

1 cup passata

1 cup Pinot Noir

1 cup beef stock

aromatics chopped up

For creamy parmesan polenta :

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup finely grated Parmesan

2 tbs unsalted butter

1/4 cup thickened cream

Salt & ground black pepper, to season

For Anchovy Gremolata (optional)

4 tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

9 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

Steps :

1) For the osso bucco : In a heavy based frying pan, add the olive oil and heat it on medium heat. Season the osso bucco pieces with salt, black pepper, hot paprika and flour on both sides. Fry and seal the osso bucco and place it on the plate, set it aside while preparing the sauce.

Season the osso bucco

Sealing the osso bucco

sealed osso buccos

2) Add the red onion, carrots, celery, chilli and garlic into the pan and fry till soft and fragrant.

Frying the ingredients till fragrant

3)  Add the red wine and allow that to reduce till 1/4 left.

adding the red wine

4) Once the red wine is reduced, add the tinned chopped tomatoes, passata, anchovies and beef stock. Allow the mixture to come to a boil then carefully add the osso bucco.

Slow cooking the osso bucco

5) Cover and allow it simmer on low heat for 2-31/2 hours. The meat should separate from the bone.  Give the pan a shake every 30 mins, to make sure it’s not stuck /burnt at the bottom.

6) For the polenta : In a medium sized pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Reduce to medium heat, and slowly add the cornmeal, whisking continuously with a whisk to prevent lumps. Switch to a wooden spoon and continue stirring until the mixture thickens (about 10 mins), season with salt and black pepper. Make sure you scrape the bottom to make sure nothing burns or stick. Take it off the heat and add the parmesan, butter and thickened cream.

7) For the anchovy gremolata : Mix the chopped parsley and anchovy until well combined.

8) To serve : Place the osso bucco on top of a bed of creamy parmesan polenta and top with more tomato and red wine sauce. Scatter the anchovy gremolata on the osso bucco and ENJOY! (:

Osso bucco served

Thank you Taylors Wines once again for the beautiful Pinot Noir, and although I can’t have a glass (or two), I’m so happy I’m still able to have them in my food! hehe Have a great mid week everyone! Remember to always cook and bake with love! Till the next post, xx

Tagine Magic : Moroccan Meatballs & Baba Ganoush

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I haven’t had much Moroccan food, but I can distinctly remember the first time I had it while we were still living in Brunswick many years back. On Sydney Road sits a small little Spanish/Moroccan restaurant, LaPaella, that sells really delicious Moroccan food and it was from this experience where I drew my inspiration from! I was really lucky to receive an Emile Henry tagine from Kitchenware Superstore, so it was perfect for me to make something Moroccan for dinner!

emile_henry_red_tagine

(photo credits : The Kitchenware Superstore)

The 32cm tagine came in a beautiful dark red and the best thing was it was made using the new flame top tecnologyan innovation in ceramics, with the development of a new glazed clay, exceptionally resistant to heat. So it didn’t even need a flame diffuser if you’re using the stovetop! How good and convenient is that?

Moroccan meatballs with baba ganoush

It also keeps the food warm for a longer time! So you’ll still get hot food after all the photo taking! haha (: Definitely perfect for me! hehe

Moroccan meatballs with baba ganoush and turkish bread

I am all for having a balanced meal, so besides the Moroccan meatball, I charred some vegetables, added some okra and also made baba ganoush to go with as a side! This combination, I have to admit, is addictive! hehe You can’t stop having it. I assure you!

So here is the recipe and if you don’t have a tagine, I encourage u to get one, if not, you could always make it in a shallow frying pan. But a tagine is recommended! hehe

Moroccan Meatballs with Baba Ganoush (Recipes adapted from Baltic Maid & David Lebovitz)

For the meatballs :

300g mince pork

300g mince beef

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbs of olive oil, for frying

For the spicy tomato sauce : 

1 can of chopped tinned tomatoes

1/2 cup passata

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp chilli flakes

1/2 cup of beef stock

1 packet of okra (about 200g)

1 red capsicum

1 yellow capsicum

1 green capsicum

1 tsp salt

For the baba ganoush :

2 medium size eggplant

2 heap tbs tahini

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/4 tsp chilli power

1 tbs olive oil, and extra to serve

1 tsp salt, or more to season

chopped parsley & chilli flakes, to garnish

Steps :

1) Under a hot grill, grill the capsicums and egg plant till they are tender and charred. Place them in a metal bowl and cover with cling wrap for about 10 mins. The charred skin would peel off easily. Slice the capsicum lengthwise and place in a bowl. Put the grilled eggplants (let whole) aside.

2) Place the tagine on the stove over medium heat. Add the tinned chopped tomatoes, passata, garlic, beef stock and allow it to come to a simmer for 10 mins. Add the okra and cover, allowing the okra to soften (about 10 mins). Add the chilli flakes.

making the spicy tomato sauce

3) Add the sliced roasted capsicum into the sauce and allow it to simmer for another 10 mins. Stirring to make sure the bottom is not sticking. Then switch it off, leaving the cover on.

Add the roasted capsicum into the sauce

4) For the meatballs : Add all the ingredients into a large meta bowl and mix till well combined.

Ingredients for the meatballs

5) Form the meatballs according to the size you fancy and place them on a plate. Heat a heavy based frying pan on medium heat then add the olive oil. Brown the meatballs on both sides then add them into the spicy tomato sauce (in the tagine). Cover and allow it to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.

Frying the meatballs

6) While the meatballs are simmering away, slice the roasted eggplant into half, lengthwise, and scrape all the flesh into a food processor. Add the garlic, tahini, chilli powder and blend till quite smooth. Add the lemon juice, salt and olive oil. Blend till well combined. Place in a bowl, drizzle with more olive oil and garnish with chilli flakes and chopped parsley.

Moroccan meatballs

7) Garnish the meatballs with fresh parsley and serve with baba ganoush and warm turkish bread!

Moroccan meatballs with baba ganoush and turkish bread

Enjoy! (:

Hope you all had a great weekend and here’s to an awesome week ahead! Remember to always cook and bake with love! Till the next post, xx!

Disclaimer : I was given the tagine by Kitchenware Superstore to test and write a review, but all opinions and experience are based on my time of use! Thanks so much for this amazing tagine! 

Salmon En Papillote

Salmon En Papillote

Cooking. Definitely something I find joy in. Something I love. No matter how tired or long the day is, I always look forward to being in the kitchen. Be it something I’ve cooked many times before, or trying out a new recipe, it always makes a sweet end to my day. Not to mention the smile on the Mr’s face after eating it. Just can’t get any better than this!

Taylors Clare Valley Gewurtztraminer 2011

It’s the time of the month again when Taylors Wines has so generously given me two bottles of wine to taste and come up with a recipe that includes it as well as be perfect to pair with! This month, I decided to choose one that I never had much experience with – The Taylors Estate 2011 Clare Valley Gewürztraminer! This wine is light and crisp, with citrusy notes so I only had one protein in mind for it. FISH!

Salmon en papillote with pan fried jerusalam artichokes

There was one way that I’ve been wanting to try out ever since I’ve had it a few years back. En papillote is a method of cooking where food is put in a folded parchment paper in a shape of a pouch or parcel, and then baked! This method is perfect for fish, cause it keeps its moisture while steaming in the pouch. hehe I was taught this method by the talented chefs from Cookyn Inc, when they came to my place to do a private dinner party for my brother’s birthday! Amazing! So big thank you to them!

perfectly cooked salmon

This method doesn’t take long for the fish to be cooked, and the only time consuming step is the preparation of the ingredients. But once that is done, you get a beautifully cooked fish on your plate within 15 minutes! Of course, that depends on the thickness of your protein. hehe So definitely give this method a try, I’m sure you will love it as much as we did!

Salmon en papillote

Salmon En Papillote (Adapted from Cookyn Inc, serves 4)

Ingredients prepped

4 fillets of salmon, cut into 2 inches in width and skin removed & reserved

1 chorizo, cut into cubes

1/2 green capsicum, cubed

1/2 yellow capsicum, cubed

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced

4 tbs of Gewürztraminer (or any white wine, you could use champagne too if you feel generous!)

Salt & pepper, to season

1 packet of brown shimeiji mushrooms, washed and separated

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tbs olive oil

2 tbs unsalted butter

thinly sliced lemon

Steps :

1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper (about 30 cm long) and lay them on a flat surface. Then place 3 slices of lemon on the paper without any overlap.

lemon on parchment paper

My paper is fluted and it can be easily done by folding your parchment into a square and then folding it into half diagonally again and again until it gets too small to do so. Then flatten it out before placing the lemon slices.

2) Place the slice of fish on top the of lemon, then add a tbs of chorizo, yellow capsicum and green capsicum.

All ready to be folded

3) Bring the two ends of the paper together and fold it over twice and scrunch them together so they do not unfold. Do the same for one side of the pouch, leaving the other side open.

One side of the pouch left open

4) Carefully pour 1 tbs of Gewürztraminer into each pouch. Then fold the rest of the pouch to seal all the ingredients in. Place the pouches onto a baking tray and bake it in the preheated oven for 17 minutes.

5) While the fish is cooking, heat up a small frying pan and add the olive oil. Fry the garlic till it’s fragrant, careful not to burn them as it will turn bitter. Add the mushrooms and fry till tender. Add the butter and allow it to coat the mushrooms well. Keep it warm until ready to be served.

6) In another frying pan, heat it up on medium heat and place the salmon skin in the pan. Fry both sides till it’s crispy and golden, place on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Set aside.

crispy salmon skin

7) To serve : Open the parchment paper, and place the sautéed mushrooms on the fish and top it with a piece of crispy salmon skin. Serve it with your favourite side (I had butter sautéed Jerusalem artichokes with pine nuts) and a glass of Gewürztraminer!

Salmon en papillote - served

Enjoy! (:

Just for fun, I’ve made a short video of the steps from start to finish! Sorry about the background noise but I hope it helps in clarifying how it is done! (:

Thank you Taylors Wines once again for the beautiful Gewürztraminer! It was delicious and definitely one that I can see myself having with my seafood! hehe Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and remember to always cook and bake with love! Till then, xx !

Thai Fish Cakes & Red Nam Jim

Thai fish cake with red nam jim

Thai food. I absolutely adore it. It’s just a cuisine that makes the tongue do a dance after every bite/ mouthful! Sweet, sour, salty, spicy, tangy! All rolled into one! Absolutely mouth-watering! However, I have to admit, thai is the one cuisine that I seldom cook at home. I usually head out to the restaurants and leave it to the pros! Especially with the balancing of the flavours!

thai fish cakes

But I decided to be adventurous one Friday afternoon after getting off work early. I saw Wince (The Hungry Excavator) post a photo of him making some Thai Fish Cake earlier in the week, and I knew instantly I had to make some! So I looked for a recipe during my lunch time, and off I went to Springvale to grab the ingredients after work!

Thai fish cakes close up

It actually wasn’t too difficult to make! In fact, the only time consuming thing was cutting the long snake beans thinly. Besides that, everything is whizzed in the food processor and viola! You’ve got some delicious fish cakes for dinner! hehe So give these a shot. They are perfect party food, and are also great as starters. hehe Oh yes! Let’s not forget the spicy and tangy red nam jim sauce to go with the fish cakes! SO GOOD! The mr couldn’t get enough!

Thai Fish Cakes with Red Nam Jim (adapted from SBS, a Teage Ezard recipe)

600g fish paste

70g red curry paste

1 egg

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

10 snake beans (or green beans), thinly slices

Vegetable oil for shallow frying

Steps :

1) In a food processor, place the fish paste, red curry paste, egg, fish sauce and sugar and blend till mixture is smooth and well combined.

Blending the ingredients in the food processor

2) Scoop the mixture into a large mixing metal bowl and add the finely shredded kaffir lime leaves and snake beans.

Adding the snake beans and kaffir lime leaves

3) Mix them together till everything is well combined.

All well combined

4) In a non-stick pan, heat some vegetable oil on medium heat, enough for shallow frying. Roll the mixture into balls and flatten them with your palm. Mine was about 5 cm in diameter and about 1 cm in thickness. Fry them until both sides are brown and crispy.

Frying them

frying both sides till brown and crispy

5) Drain them on some paper towel and serve them with the homemade red nam jim sauce (to follow).

cross section

Red Nam Jim Sauce

2 red birdseye chilli, seeded and roughly chopped

4 long red chillies, seeded and roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

Handful of coriander leaves and roots

2 tbs shaved palm sugar, add more if needed to balance flavour

125ml lime juice

1 1/2 tbs fish sauce

Steps :

1) In a mortar and pestle, add the chillies, garlic and coriander and pound till it forms a paste. Do be patient, as this might take a while!

Pounding the ingredients

2) Add the palm sugar and combine. Add the lime juice, a little at a time, until the mixture is well combined then add the fish sauce to balance the taste. It should be a little like a wetter version of a salsa. Remember to taste and add more of the flavourings to balance the sweet, sour and tang!

Thai fish cakes and red nam jim

ENJOY!

Remember to always bake and cook with love! xx

Slow Cooked Shiraz Beef Ribs

slow cooked shiraz beef ribs

Good afternoon dear readers, I hope you’re having a great weekend so far. I definitely am! Wish I could sleep in more and how I wish we had an extra day of weekend just to anything we love. How good would that be? Any who! It’s the weekend should we should all just embrace it! hehe I’ve got some exciting news to share! Remember the Taylors Wine giveaway I did a few months back? They decided to send me a different type of wine each month to come up with a dish and share the recipe! This month, I chose their Taylors Estate 2010 Clare Valley Shiraz.

Taylors Wine Clare Valley 2010 Shiraz

Before the wines even arrived, I already had a few ideas in my head. But after reading the palate notes, there was only one dish that came to my mind : beef ribs ! The wine was really smooth and robust, with notes of plum, blackcurrant and dark cherries! Yum! I am by no means an expert on wines, but it is really easy to drink, and not too dry!

slow cooked shiraz beef ribs

What I love is the intensity of the colour of the ribs and sauce! A deep red colour especially after it’s been cooking and reducing in the oven. And what’s better than tender, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of meat? Absolutely nothing! hehe

slow cooked shiraz beef ribs with cauliflower puree and cauliflower florets & hazelnuts

And I was debating if I should make a creamy mash to go with it, but because I’m in a current cauliflower phase (check out the cauliflower rice that I’m addicted to!), I decided to make some cauliflower puree which paired perfectly with the ribs! Plus it’s like killing two birds with one stone, cause I didn’t need to make a side of greens! hehe But just to make the dish have some kind of crunch, I sauteed some cauliflower florets with toasted hazelnuts. AMAZING!

So go get yourself a bottle of Taylors Wine Clare Valley Shiraz and give this a shot! You won’t regret it, my tummy assures you! (:

Slow Cooked Shiraz Beef Ribs (A Food Made With Love Original)

2 kg beef short ribs

500ml Shiraz

500ml beef stock

1 heap tbs tomato paste

2 tbs olive oil, extra for sealing the ribs)

2 tbs passata

1 bulb garlic, cut into half

2 large chillies, deseeded and roughly sliced

salt and ground black pepper, to season

garlic cut into half

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius. Season the beef ribs generously with salt and ground black pepper. Heat a heavy based pot (I used my cast iron pot) on high and add some olive oil. Seal the ribs on all sides and set aside.

beef ribs

Searing the ribs

Seared beef ribs

2) In the same pot, add the tomato paste, passata, garlic, chilli and the shiraz. Bring it to a boil and allow it to reduce by half.

Bringing the wine mixture to a boil and reducing it

3) Return the beef ribs into the pot and add the beef stock, making sure it covers at least 3/4 of the ribs.

After adding the beed stock

4) Bring it to a boil, then cover and place the pot into the preheated oven and allow it to cook for at least 2 hours, or until the meat falls off the bones, and the liquid has reduced to a sticky and thicker consistency. The colour of the gravy has also become an intense red!

5) To serve, place the beef ribs on the cauliflower puree (recipe to follow) or a rich and velvety smooth mash, top with the cauliflower florets and hazelnut and drizzle the thick and luscious gravy. DIG IN!

Final dish

Cauliflower Puree (recipe from Manu’s French Bistro)

500g cauliflower florets

200ml milk

50g unsalted butter

sea salt and ground black pepper

Steps : 

1) Place the cauliflower and milk in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender, then drain and discard the milk.

cauliflower puree

2) Place the cauliflower, butter, salt & pepper in a food processor and process still you get a smooth puree. Transfer to a clean saucepan and keep warm.

Cauliflower Florets & Hazelnuts Mixture (Recipe from Manu’s French Bistro)

50g hazelnuts

200g cauliflower, cut into small florets

50g unsalted butter, cubed

Steps :

1) In a small frying pan, toast the hazelnuts until golden brown. Place them in a clean tea towel and remove the skins by giving it a rub. Place them in a plastic bag, crush them slightly, using a rolling pin. Set aside.

2) In a larger frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for 5-6 minutes or until golden and tender. Add the hazelnuts and stir to combine. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.

cauliflower florets with hazelnuts

So go grab yourself a bottle of Taylors Clare Valley Shiraz and give this a try! (: Thank you Taylors Wines once again for the beautiful bottles of wine and the opportunity to come up with a recipe with it! Have a great week ahead everyone! Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Till the next post, x

Dry Mee Siam

Dry Mee Siam

Good evening dear readers. I hope you’re having a great weekend so far! Mine has been really relaxing, trying out new recipes and cooking up a storm in the kitchen. It definitely felt good cooking and baking again after quite a long time! One of the things I tried is dry mee siam. hehe If you don’t know what mee siam is, it is a malaysian dish and is similar to fried rice vermicelli with lots of aromatics to make it flavourful and delicious! It’s usually comes with a gravy, but I do prefer the dry version. Every mouthful makes me nostalgic!

Dry mee siam

As my sister-in-law says, it brings the taste of home (有家的味道) ! I was quite worried about how it would turn out, but it was pretty good for a first timer! hehe And quite simple as well! Just blend all the aromatics together, fry, add stock, rice vermicelli, viola! Definitely something you can consider making during parties! I topped mine with prawns, fried beancurd, chinese chives and crispy fried shallots! But you can top it with anything you like, for meat lovers, you could shred some chicken in as well! heh So what are you waiting for? Give it a try!

Dry Mee Siam (adapted from Valee Belly & To Food With Luv)

1 packet of rice vermicelli (about 400-500g)

300g bean shoots

300g prawns, shelled and deveined

100g fried beancurd/ firm toufu, sliced and fried till golden brown

3 hard boiled eggs, cut into halves

10 stalks chinese chives, finely chopped, extra for garnish

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 cups chicken stock

2 tbs fish sauce

2 tbs tamarind paste

2 tsp brown sugar

ground white pepper

fried shallots

1 lime, cut into wedges

Aromatics / Spice blend : 

5 cloves of garlic

10 shallots

20g belachan

55g dried shrimps, soaked and drained

3 heap tbs sambal chilli

2 tbs fermented yellow beans/taucheo (I used crushed salted soya beans)

Blending the aromatics

Steps :

1) In a blender, place the garlic, shallots, belachan, dried shrimps, sambal chilli and fermented yellow beans. Blend till it becomes a fine paste.

Blended aromatics

2) In a heavy based frying pan or wok if you have one, heat the vegetable oil on high heat. Add the prawns and fry till its cooked through. Set it aside. Fry the blended aromatics for about 8-10 minutes, till fragrant. Remember to keep stirring it so that they do not burn.

3) Add the chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar and tamarind paste and bring the mixture to a boil, lowering the heat and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.

4) Add the rice vermicelli and bean sprouts and mix well till well combined. Toss it well to make sure the rice vermicelli is well coated and the liquid is absorbed and almost dry. Add the chives and give it another good toss.

5) To plate, place some dry mee siam on the plate/bowl, top it with hard boiled eggs, fried beancurd, prawns, more chives, fried shallots and a wedge of lime. Remember the lime as it gives the dish a sourish and refreshing kick!

Dry Mee Siam

Now it’s time to sit down and enjoy! (: Hopefully you’ll love it as much as we did! Brought us straight back to Singapore hehe

Remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Going Healthy : Cauliflower Rice Salad

Cauliflower rice salad

Hola dear readers! Obviously I still wish I am back in Barcelona. hehe Have you ever felt the need to cut down on food and eat better? After all the good food (and don’t get me started on the amounts haha) that I’ve eaten in Europe, I decided to try and eat a little healthier when we got back. The thing that has been going around alot these days is the Paleo diet. Don’t worry, I’m not on it! haha I, for one, cannot go through a diet for the life of me. Plus my dearest husband will never allow me to. He’s a firm believer of exercise and eating everything in moderation. hehe But there are a few recipes out there which caught my eye and I’ve written down in my recipes-to-try list! hehe One of which is the cauliflower rice!

Cauliflower rice

I was intrigued by the cauliflower rice ever since I’ve seen it on instagram  (follow me on @lianneelow). It’s not rice, but it’s cauliflower that is made to look like rice, and it’s absolutely delicious! hehe There are many different ways to make it and there’s no right or wrong way. The best thing about it is that you can flavour it any way you want! Absolutely anything that you fancy!

Cauliflower rice with dishes

I had mine two ways. One as a substitute for rice/quinoa (with dishes) and another in a salad! They both worked really well but I am addicted to the salad. Which is the recipe I’ll be sharing with you today. And trust me, even though you don’t intend to change your diet, this is something you definitely should try making! Plus, there’s no harm in having something healthy yes? hehe

Cauliflower Rice (Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo)

1 head of cauliflower (cut into small pieces)

3 shallots, finely sliced

1-2 tbs olive oil

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground coriander

A bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

cauliflower

Steps : 

1) In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower into the size of couscous or rice grains.

2) In a heavy-based pan, heat the olive oil and sautéed the finely sliced shallots until its soft and aromatic. When it’s softened, add the cauliflower and stir until it is well coated and mixed thoroughly.

3) Season the cauliflower rice with the garlic salt, ground ginger and ground coriander. Cover the pan and allow it to cook for 5-10 minutes. Season with freshly ground pepper and fold in the fresh coriander.

cauliflower rice salad

Cauliflower Rice Salad (Original recipe)

2 cups cauliflower rice

200-300g butternut squash, cubed

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 pint cherry tomatoes (250g, sliced into halves)

Juice of 1 lemon

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 can of chickpeas, drained

salt & pepper, to season

handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Steps :

1) On a lined baking tray, place the butternut squash and sprinkle paprika and salt. Drizzle some olive oil over. In a preheated oven (180 degrees celcius), bake the butternut squash for 15-20 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

2) In a small bowl, emulsify the oilve oil with the lemon juice and set it aside.

3) In a large bowl, place the cauliflower rice, then top with the butternut squash, cherry tomatoes and season with salt & pepper. Drizzle the emulsified lemon juice and olive oil and add in the chopped coriander. Give it a good mix until well combined.

Cauliflower rice salad

4) Eat it by the spoonful or keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

my lunch

I had mine with some extra pine nuts and a hard boiled egg for some extra protein! hehe See, you can have it anyway you fancy!

Enjoy and remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Crab Bee Hoon Soup

IMG_3295-1-1

Fridays in the Ho Clan only means one thing – Seafood day ! (: After all the poultry and red meat we have for the rest of the week, we abstain from them on Fridays and have seafood instead. Most of the time, I would make either fish or prawns (or both). But once in a while, I would do the occasional splurge and treat ourselves to something different. This time, it’s crab!

cleaning the crab

The Mr and I went to Springvale to scout for a mud crab. Thankfully, they sold live ones! But being the noob us, we didn’t really know how to pick! haha So we asked the store owner, and she kindly chose one for us. The Mr was a little disappointed that all the mud crabs were female, as he was really looking forward to having some crab roe! Maybe next time! hehe

Of course, the first thing we did when we got home was to pop the crab into the freezer so that it would fall into a deep sleep so that we could clean it out the humane manner. I didn’t dare do it, so the Mr had to help me with the killing and cleaning. hehe Thank goodness he was home! (:

crab bee hoon soup

I have been craving for some crab bee hoon (thick rice vermicelli) soup for the longest time! I remember the first time I’ve had it was at Mellben Seafood in Singapore. They, in my opinion, has the best crab bee hoon soup I’ve ever tasted! Being the instagram stalker that I am, I saw one of my friend’s post of their crab bee hoon soup and I couldn’t resist the temptation of trying it out on my own! hehe

crab bee hoon soup

The broth was so full of flavour with the subtle milkiness of the evaporated milk. Definitely satisfied my cravings! heh I have to say, it was surprisingly easy, besides the cleaning of the crabs! You could get it on the dining table within 30 minutes after everything is prepared. How good is that? As close to instant gratification as I can get! hehe

So do give this a go. Especially if you’re craving for something comforting for this cold winter nights we are having now! You’ll have warm, toasty and happy bellies for sure!

Crab Bee Hoon (Thick Rice Vermicelli) Soup (adapted from Rasa Malaysia)

1 kg mud crab, cleaned and cut into pieces

2oog dried thick vermicelli noodles

4 tbs unsalted butter

6-10 slices of peeled ginger

3 cups fish stock

1/2 cup evaporated milk

3 bunches of baby bok choy

1-2 stalks of spring onion, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 tbs shaoxing wine

1/2 tbs fish sauce, or according to taste

white pepper, for seasoning

fried shallots, garnish

crabs cleaned and cut into pieces

Steps :

1) Cook the dried thick vermicelli noodles according to the package till al dente. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse them under cold water to remove the starch. Drain and set aside.

2) In a claypot or heavy-based pot, add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the sliced ginger and fry till fragrant.

frying the ginger in melted butter

3) Add the stock and bring it to a boil.

Bringing the broth up to a boil

4) Then add the evaporated milk followed by the crab.

Add the crab and evaporated milk

5) Cook for a few minutes until the crab turns red and is cooked. Add the baby boy choy, shaoxing wine, spring onion and season with fish sauce and ground white pepper. Bring to a boil, and add the rice noodles. Allow it to boil for a few minutes, garnish with fried shallots and serve!

crab bee hoon soup served!

 ENJOY!

My favourite part of the crab is definitely the pincers. It’s just full of sweet flesh and after I was done with mine, I just wanted more! So dear readers, which is your favourite part of the crab? heh Would love to know and how do you like to have your crabs too! hehe

Hope you all had a lovely week and not long till the weekend! So hang in there! Remember to always cook and bake with love! xx

Babi Guling

Babi Guling

Good evening dear readers. So sorry for the lack of posts of late! Been really busy at work, and will crash the moment I hit the beds! But tonight, to make up for it, I’m going to share a recipe that would make you salivate from start to finish! Babi guling! I’m not sure if you have had this before, but let me tell you, it’s something you definitely want to try!

babi guling in Ubud

The first time I had babi guling was in Ubud when the Mr and I went for our honeymoon! (: It was highly recommended by a close friend, and the moment we tried a mouthful, we understood why. It was absolutely delicious. The meat was so tender and melts in your mouth. The skin was so crispy! Just the way we love our pork! hehe While walking to the shops after our delicious meal, we were lucky enough to see one of the suckling pigs delivered to the shop on top of a man’s head! hehe Love to see things that we don’t get to see everyday. Made our trip more memorable! The suckling pig was roasted to perfection! We were so tempted to have another plate just looking at it! hehe

Babi guling out of the oven

My memories were triggered when I was watching MKR and the winning team made their version of babi guling. It looked so so good and I was hoping they would post their recipe on the MKR website. Thankfully, they did! The mr requested for me to make it a few weekends ago and I happily and most willingly did! (:

spice paste - base gede

When I made the spice paste (base gede), I knew immediately it was gonna be really good as it smelt really close to the one we had in Ubud! I got more and more excited as the spices were blending as the smell of the aromatics just filled the kitchen. I couldn’t wait to get it into the oven and bake it! hehe The only thing that I would do when I make it again is to marinade the pork with the spice paste for at least a couple of hours, so that it would flavour the meat more!

Babi guling - sliced

Other than that, everything was perfect, from the crispy skin to the tender meat. Absolutely divine! We just wanted to finish everything, but had to leave some for lunch the next day! hehe So do give this a try, it’s no surprise why Dan & Steph are the winners of MKR. Their recipe was spot on and definitely a keeper! heh Please don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients! It’s really worth the trouble of finding them all!

Babi guling - Served

Babi Guling (Recipe adapted from MKR)

1.5kg pork belly, rind scored

2 1/2 tbs olive oil

300ml coconut milk

100g bean shoots

2 tsp kecap manis

A bunch of bok choy, boiled and drained

2 tsp shallot oil

Steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Spice Paste (Base Gede)

Juice of 1 lime

4 long red chillies, deseeded

1 stalk of lemongrass,  white part only, bruised and finely chopped

4 green spring onions (white tender part only) roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic

2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 cm piece of galangal, finely chopped

1 tbs ground tumeric

1 tbs ground coriander seeds

1 tbs vegetable oil

1 tbs palm sugar

2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp shrimp paste

1/2 tsp salt

Sambal (For the bean shoots)

4 green spring onions (the green part)

2 small red chillies, deseeded

2 cloves of garlic

 1 cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 lemongrass (white tender part only), bruised and finely chopped

2 fresh lime leaves

1/2 tsp shrimp paste

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 tbs vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

pinch of ground black pepper

Spice paste rubbed on pork belly

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 240 degree C.

2) To make spice paste, process all ingredients in a blender to form a smooth paste. Reserve 1/4 cup for the sauce.

3) Lightly prick the meat side of pork with a sharp knife or skewer and rub in spice paste in a thick layer. Roll lengthways and secure at several intervals with butchers string. Place in a baking dish. Rub salt into skin.

Spice paste and pork belly

Spice paste evenly spread on the meat side of the pork belly

All rolled up!

4) Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 175 degree C and cook for a further 1 hour 15 minutes or until tender and cooked through. Remove from oven. Rest lightly covered with foil for 30 minutes.

Babi guling - ready to be sliced

5) To make sauce, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add reserved spice paste. Cook for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in coconut milk and juices from rested pork. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

6) To make sambal, process all ingredients until smooth.

7) Cook bean shoots in a saucepan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain and set aside. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan. Cook sambal until fragrant. Add bean shoots and toss to combine. Stir in kecap manis.

8) In the same pot of water, boil the bok choy until tender, drain and place in a bowl. Add the shallot oil and toss it well.

8) To serve, slice the pork into 1-inch pieces and serve on hot steamed jasmine rice with the sambal bean shoots, bok choy and lots of sauce.

Babi guling with sambal bean shoots and sauce

ENJOY! (:

Babi guling - Served

So dear readers, hopefully you’re not too hungry after reading this post! But do give this a go as you would definitely not regret it! Especially if you and your loved ones are meat lovers. This is definitely a dish for you! (: Hope all of you had a good (and delicious) weekend! Here’s to a good week ahead!

PS : The sauce is so good, even my mr who usually isn’t a fan of sauce couldn’t stop pouring over his rice! hehe

Remember to always bake and cook with love!

Prawn Aglio Olio & A Wine Giveaway {Winners Announced}

Prawn aglio olio with Taylors Estate Pinot Gris

Good evening my dear readers! (: I hope that all of you had a wonderful weekend especially if you had a long one because of the Anzac Day holiday. I’ve got some exciting news to share with all of you! (: A week back, I received an email from  Taylors Wines who wanted me to do a wine giveaway on my blog. Of course, I said yes! hehe I was also so lucky to received not one, but two bottles of Pinot Gris to taste! How generous are they? Couldn’t be happier!

Pinot Gris came in the mail

Before I go into more details of the wine and the giveaway, I would like to tell me my thoughts about the Pinot Gris! Pinot Gris has always been one of my favourite type of wine. hehe I had a glass before bed one night, and really love how clean and crisp it tasted with tones of pear and apple. I knew instantly what would pair with it perfectly – seafood. My dearest husband read my mind, and made an amazing prawn aglio olio with pan seared scallops for dinner the following night!

Prawn aglio olio with seared scallops paired with a glass of pinot gris

He even used some of the wine in the sauce and it was so good! I wanted more (: The prawn and scallops were so sweet & succulent, it just complimented the wine perfectly.

Prawn aglio olio with seared scallops

Prawn Aglio Olio with Pan Seared Scallops (The mr’s original recipe, serves 2)

5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

3 small chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped (you can increase or reduce the amount of chilli depending on how spicy you like your dish to be!)

2 tbs fresh basil, finely chopped

1/2 cup white wine (I used Taylors Estate Pinot Gris)

2 tbs olive oil (plus an extra tbs for the scallops)

Salt & pepper, to season

12 prawns, peeled and cut into chunks

6 scallops, left whole

Pasta of your choice

Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to garnish

Steps :

1) Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Strain and run under cold water so that the pasta will not stick together. Set aside while cooking the sauce.

2) In a heavy based pot, heat the olive oil on medium fire and fry the garlic and chilli till fragrant.

3) Add the prawns, and fry till it’s coloured and no longer translucent. Add the chopped basil and white wine. Allow this to simmer for about 5 minutes.

4) Pour the pasta into the sauce and mix it well. Set aside, and keep it warm.

5) Pat dry the scallops and season with sea salt. Heat a non-stick pan on low-medium fire and add 1 tbs of olive oil. Place the scallops into the pan and flip every 30 seconds. Repeat each side for about 3 times, or until the scallops have a nice golden brown sear.

6) Place the pasta on a plate and top with 3 scallops per person. Garnish with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve with a glass of Pinot Gris. ENJOY!

Prawn aglio olio with seared scallops

And now, the part that you’ve been waiting for so patiently…. the giveaway! (:

Taylors Wines is a family-owned wine company, in South Australia’s stunning Clare Valley, that was born from a passion of producing exceptional,  hand crafted wines. They are “Bringing great wines to life” and would love to give two lucky readers two bottles of their beautiful Taylors Wine –  Taylors Estate Pinot Gris 2011 and Taylors Estate Shiraz 2010.

Taylors Estate wines

How do you win these amazing wines?

To enter this giveaway:

  • All you have to do is to leave a comment at the end of the post to let me know : What is your favourite wine and what do you like to pair it with? 
  • Open to Australian residents only! (So sorry!)
  • Please make sure you’re of a legal drinking age and be able to provide a proof of age (it is needed to be sent to the company before they can send you the wine)
  • The winners will be drawn on the 5th of May 2013, Sunday at 10pm (Melbourne time).
  • You may reenter daily, one entry a day (YAY!)
  • Winner will be picked via random.org and announced on this blog and notified via email

Good luck and have a great week ahead! (:

Remember to always cook and bake with love!

This is a sponsored post by Taylors Wines. I tasted the Pinot Gris with compliments of Taylors Wines, however, the review, opinions are honest and based on my personal taste and preference. The recipe is a Food Made With Love original.

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And the winners are….. Diana and Coco!! (: Congratulations!

Winner - Number 4

Diana

Winner - Number 13Coco

Congratulations you two! (: Will be dropping you an email or a reply soon! Hope you enjoy the wines! hehe Have a great week ahead! xx

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Update : Unfortunately, I can’t get hold of Diana and Ross (who was picked after not hearing from Diana) so I had to pick another winner! Congrats Zoe!! (: Hope you will enjoy this wine with Jeff!

New winner

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